L33Fly + how-to   7

How-To: Set up a home file server using FreeNAS
Ask Engadget: What's the best budget NAS? Kingston Wi-Drive for iOS hits stores today, lets you create your own portable music server for $130 Tilera sees sense in the server wars, puts just 36 cores in its newest processorIn today's digital world we've all got data, and lots of it. Our libraries are also growing rapidly: where you used to get by setting aside a few bookshelves for your books, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes, we now require untold server space to preserve our beloved media in digitized form. We also want our data to be itinerant, or at least seem that way. That is, if you want to take a book or disc to another room of your abode, you pull it from the bookshelf and take it with you. Similarly, if you're working on a document upstairs on your desktop and you want to move to the den with your laptop, you'll need the proper infrastructure working in the background to enable that kind of wizardry. So, how can we create this "digital bookshelf?" Can you go out and buy it now? Can you build it in your garage? As it turns out, the answer is "yes" on all counts. You could go out and buy a Drobo device but in this case, we're going to assemble our own. And we're going to do that with the help of an open source storage platform called FreeNAS. So how involved a process is that? Meet us after the break to find out.Continue reading How-To: Set up a home file server using FreeNAS
How-To: Set up a home file server using FreeNAS originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 01 Feb 2012 15:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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CIFS  FreeNAS  how_to  how-to  howto  NAS  NetworkAttachedStorage  samba  ZFS  ifttt  Googlereader  home  from:googlereader  from google
february 2012 by L33Fly
Use A Screensaver As Your Desktop Wallpaper [Video How-To]
Ever wanted to spruce up your plain, boring desktop? There’s actually a way you can use your screensaver as your desktop wallpaper. In this video, I’ll show you two different ways of going about doing this.

Terminal text:
cd /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/
ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -background
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wallpaper  How-To  desktop  screensaver  from:googlereader  googlereader  home  from google
february 2012 by L33Fly
Sync Your Contacts With Twitter To Add Usernames & Photos To Your Address Book [iOS Tip]
We’ve already shown you how to sync your address book with the Facebook app for iOS to add profile pictures and other credentials, but what if you prefer to use Twitter instead? Well, fortunately for you, you can also sync your address book with Twitter, and it’s incredibly easy thanks to iOS 5′s Twitter integration.
First, open up the Settings app on your device and tap on the Twitter tab. You’ll need to be logged in to sync your contacts, so if you don’t already have your Twitter account set up, enter your username and password and tap ‘Sign In’.

Now all you have to do is tap the ‘Update Contacts’ button to sync Twitter profile images and usernames with your address book.

Once the sync is complete, you’ll find your contacts — with a Twitter account — now have profile images, and a quick link to their Twitter profile, which will launch the Twitter app when you tap on it.
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facebook  Contacts  News  How-To  Sync  tip  address_book  iOS  twitter  iOS_tip  hint  from:googlereader  googlereader  home  from google
january 2012 by L33Fly
Change The Boring Default Login Screen Wallpaper In OS X Lion [Video How-To]
Sick and tired of seeing the same old linen wallpaper on the login screen every time you boot up your computer? It can get pretty boring after a while. In this video, I’ll show you how to change Lion’s login screen wallpaper to whatever you’d like.

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wallpaper  OS_X  How-To  lion  linen  default  login  from:googlereader  googlereader  home  from google
december 2011 by L33Fly
10 Easy Steps To Advanced Photography Skills
By Trey Ratcliff (aka Stuck in Customs), one of the most famous and renowned HDR photographers on Flickr. In his article Trey describes some professional insights and useful photography tips that he collected over the years of his career.

A camera does not work like an eye; film does not work like memory. There is a fine line between a photo that is quite nice and one that is quite breathtaking. At some unknown point, a photo can cross the Rubicon and be forever a piece of beautiful art. That hinterland between a regular photo and evocative art is a shifting area from person to person and taste to taste. However, that zone can be narrowed a bit once you start to consider the way the brain stores memories and emotions.

And yes, it gets a bit touchy-feely here trying to determine if your work has crossed that line. With rigorous practice and peer feedback, you can start to appreciate where that zone is and, consequently, improve your hit ratio.

The back of the Taj Mahal during a summer sunset.

The good news is that divining your way to more beautiful photos does not require rune rites of scapulimancy. There are some basic things and mantras to keep in mind as you practice and fail, then practice and succeed, then practice and fail, then practice and succeed, and rinse and repeat. We’ll detail a few of these below.

1. Think About The Brain
I’ve always thought about photography differently. I grew up seeing out of only one eye, thanks to several botched surgeries in the 1970s using refurbished archaeological tools of the Australopithecus medicine men.

When you see out of one eye your whole life and then start using a camera in your mid-30s, something happens to you! You come to realize that a camera works nothing like the eye. Forget 3D; I’m talking about the way the brain stores images and scenes.

Upon birth, you have legs, but it takes a few years for your legs to get along with your brain well enough to actually walk you around the savanna a bit. The eyes are the same. They get wired faster than the legs, but the neural pathways from the optic nerve to the parts of the brain that matter take a while to find their chemical trails. You start to sense light levels, then shapes, then edges, then relative positions and the like. And then, around the age 2 or 3, you finally come up with a tagging system that allows you to know generally what a “barn” looks like. Your brain has been working nonstop over that time to give you the visual and memory infrastructure to enable this watershed event.

Fourth of July on Lake Austin: the first HDR photograph to hang in the Smithsonian.

Now, let’s fast forward to today. You’re older, your brain is more or less fully formed, and you happen upon a barn in a field. But it’s not just any barn: it’s the barn you’ve been wanting to see your entire life. And in the distance, a storm is brewing as a gentle sun sets. It’s beautiful; you lock it into memory. The way you lock it into memory is nothing like the way a camera records the image on film (or a CCD). This is what I quickly came to realize as I sat there, looking at a photo I took with a fabulously expensive Nikon and showing it to a friend. “Well, you really had to be there.” I’m sure you’ve all said that!

Now, this first step is a big step: it’s a philosophical re-assessment of how the camera works in contrast to how the memory maps a scene, the latter being a process of layering visual reality with the emotions and memories linked to that scene. You see, you are not just remembering that barn but are remembering every barn; you are not just remembering that storm but are remembering every storm. A beautiful photo must tell the epic tale of the memory, linked with the other emotions that fold into a whole.

2. Engage In The New Global Salon
In the 1860s, all art roads led to the Salon in Paris, which was the most important judged competition of art in the western world. During a period of just over 10 years, the Impressionist masters battled it out in a competitive and cooperative tour de force that created a panoply of creations that we now cannot imagine the world without.

The reason Paris became the center of the art world and an explosion of new art is the combination of new technology in travel and communications combined with Napoleon III’s focus on infrastructure around the Salon.

Hong Kong from a peak on a summer night as the city comes alive.

Today the same thing is happening, although perhaps not everyone really realizes it in a grand historical sense. It’s called Flickr. Flickr has become a techno-Salon, allowing the world to easily use the Internet to enter the competition and force each other to evolve and improve their art. The automated “Explore Algorithm” does a pretty good job of automatically filtering the best photos that are uploaded every day. Go ahead and look at some of the current best of the last 7 days.

Click “Reload” a few times and I promise you will have seen something that impresses. It is quite unbelievable the level of art and beauty that is created every single day. Now, all of this amazing art on Flickr can either inspire or intimidate you, depending on your mindset for competition. I hope it inspires you to upload one photo a day and see if you can make it in the top 500 or even the top 10. And don’t give up. Competition makes everyone better; this is an undeniable truth, and you are not realizing your full potential if you remove yourself from the process.

I can think of a number of things Flickr can do to improve this new global competition. Its AI algorithm to find the most interesting new artists still makes many mistakes. Maybe I will save that for another article! But in many ways, Flickr is close to squandering an amazing opportunity to set the art world on fire.

3. Get Rid Of Your Toy Camera
Oh, look at that camera you have! It’s so tiny and slim and techno-looking. Look! It fits right in your pocket! Oh my, you can take it to parties and sporting events, and it’s so convenient. Oh, it is 10 megapixels, too? Oh my. Well, that is a good camera then!

No, it’s not. It’s a toy: give it to your kids or the nearest gradeschooler (for whom it was designed) and get serious. I know that 19-year-old punk at Best Buy told you that your compact camera is really neat and just what you need. But are you gonna listen to him or me?

Get yourself a DSLR (I have suggestions on my page that aren’t very expensive for people just starting out). For those of you who don’t know, a DSLR is one of those cameras you see the pros carrying, but it doesn’t have to be a giant one like what you see in the NFL endzone.

Sorry to be rude about the toy thing, but you want to take more beautiful pictures, no? Well, a decent DSLR has such a good sensor chip, combined with more flexible lenses, that your batting average will dramatically improve.

An ancient Hindu temple at sunset in the jungles of Indonesia.

Also (people with DSLRs already know this), it is important to have a good wide-angle lens for landscapes. Beautiful photography does not have to be of a landscape, but it commonly is, and this is what many people envision when they want to make their own beautiful photos. So, we should talk about wide-angle lenses here for a moment.

If you are used to using a toy camera, then you have never really seen the world through a good 10 to 24mm lens. It’s almost the difference between regular TV and HDTV. The vistas are wide and bold; the clouds, sun and mountains all fit; the river and bridge are easy to compose; and so on. Once you go wide-angle, your landscape will never be the same!

4. Carry A Tripod For Those Beautiful Sunsets And Sunrises
Oh, what’s that? You don’t want to carry a tripod? What are you, a 9-year-old? Now, come on. You’re a grown-up, and you want to take some seriously beautiful photos. Do you think pros carry around tripods because they like the extra weight? No, of course not. They know what the heck they’re doing.

If you bit off on getting a DSLR, then you are going to need a tripod, especially for sunset and night shots. Unless you have the steady hand of a T-1000, you are going to get some camera shake.

A tripod allows you to do the following things with landscape photography (in no particular order): set up and take your time to compose a photo with serious intent; keep noise low as the shutter stays open longer; look cool as you carry it around; keep the shutter open for 5 or more seconds for those fleeting sunrise and sunset shots; use it as a weapon in a tight spot while traveling (not kidding).

Dresden, Germany

So, are you still worried about carrying it around? The problem, you understand, is mostly your attitude. Let me provide a different perspective. Nothing in life is worth doing unless you’re serious about it. Believe that you are going to shoot that sunset, and you are going to take your nice DSLR and tripod out there and make it happen, and no one is going to stop you. You’re carrying that tripod around because you’re serious about it. Otherwise, you could just go sit on a pretty beach at sunset and drink beer with your friends and not be serious about it. Go ahead… but you won’t be getting any beautiful photography out of it.

5. Admire Impressionism
I spoke earlier about the Salon of Paris and what happened during the Impressionist movement. While the process and examples of what happens when artists start cooperating and competing is interesting from a social-group evolutionary perspective, this section is more about the art itself.

Early critics of the art form found it crude, sloppy and unconventional, to the point that they felt it didn’t even deserve to be placed alongside the classic masters. But the public was awestruck by the new art form. It doesn’t take a critic to know good art, but it does take a careful and discerning eye.

Consider the colors and styles of Degas, Cézanne, Monet and Renoir. … [more]
How-To  inspiration  photography  from:googlereader  googlereader  home  from google
february 2009 by L33Fly
HOW TO: Install Google Chrome Greasemonkey Scripts (Windows Only)
I had heard about various methods of running Greasemonkey scripts in Google Chrome, but now it’s easier than ever. Here’s how to install Google Chrome Greasemonkey scripts in 4 quick steps.

Of course, we are still all eagerly awaiting extensions. Leave your desired list in my previous post, “Most Wanted Browser Extensions and Add-ons to Install in Google Chrome.”

4 Step Process
1. Install a recent trunk build of Chromium - There are several new builds every day. Just grab the latest version, download to your preferred folder and extract.

2. Launch chrome.exe with the --enable-greasemonkey flag - Create a shortcut to the new file and just copy/paste “--enable-greasemonkey ” after the shortcut.

3. Copy *.user.js files to the c:\scripts directory on your computer - Userscripts.org has all the Greasemonkey extensions out there. Click Install, right click and “Save as…”, edit the file name so it’s not just “26062.user.js” and save in the C:\scripts\ folder on your computer (you most likely have to create this folder).

4. Script edits are picked up automatically; just refresh the page to see the changes - and you are done!

Now that you are using Greasemonkey in Chrome, head over to our list of “7 Essential Greasemonkey Scripts for FriendFeed” or “Top 12 Greasemonkey scripts for Stumbleupon.”

What scripts are you going to install?

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Google  How-To  web  chrome  greasemonkey  how_to  scripts  from:googlereader  googlereader  home  from google
december 2008 by L33Fly
Last Minute Spring Cleaning of your Windows XP System
Summer starts today. It’s the longest day of the year and it’s not too late for some last minute spring cleaning. Of course keeping your system clear of junk is always a good idea. However, here’s a quick six step guide to unclutter your system, increase its performance and speed it up.

The image to the left was graciously provided by Roma Flowers via stock.xchng.

1. Unclutter
Remove excess software through >start >control panel >software. If something won’t uninstall because it was never installed properly in the first place, try Microsoft’s Windows Installer CleanUp Utility.

For one, unused software takes up space which you might want to use differently. What you should also keep in mind is that outdated software poses a potential risk, possibly harboring security holes that may serve as entry points for malware.

2. Clean up
Installing and uninstalling software will leave traces. To get rid of the junk, clean the registry and delete all left over files. A great tool for this is CCleaner, which has been mentioned many times at Make Use Of, and which will take care of many more nasty problems.

3. Clear & Compress
One quick and easy step to empty the recycle bin, remove temporary files and compress rarely used files, free space and remove junk!

- Click [Windows] + [R], the Run dialog box will open.
- Type “Cleanmgr.exe” (without brackets), another dialog box will pop up.
- Select the drive you wish to clean.
- Wait for the application to complete its calculations.
- Select files you wish to clear and actions you wish to take.
- Click >OK to confirm and let it do its job.

4. Control Autostart Programs
Lots of tools insert themselves into the Autostart folder or boot process, but many of them just eat up resources without ever being of any use whatsoever. A free tool which allows you to control which programs run when you’re booting your system is Startup Control Panel.

5. Defrag

Defragmentation is a process which physically reorganizes data written onto a disk. The goal is to not have gaps between pieces of a file, but rather store them contiguously. This is something you best do when you won’t need your machine for a few hours. Overnight is a good idea.

You can defrag your hard drives as follows:

- Go to >Start >Programs >Accessories >System Tools >Disk Defragmenter
- The defragmentation window will open.
- Click >Analyze to see whether a defrag is necessary.
- Choose the volume you wish to defrag and click >Defragment.

What many people don’t know is that you cannot only defrag hard drives, you can also defrag the registry! For the registry defragmentation however you will need a tool, for example Free Registry Defrag.

MakeUseOf did a good article on Five Free Programs to Defragment your PC. Definitely check it out.

Finally: Speed Logoff
Is your system taking ages to shut down? Chances are it’s waiting for files that seem blocked by a faulty program or driver. It takes ages, i.e. a long internal timeout, until Windows forces the handle to unload. Microsoft provides a tool called User Profile Hive Cleanup Service which can speed up this process.

For more information on how to spruce up an old installation, make it faster and safer, please check out these great Make Use Of articles:

The Cut Out and Keep Guide to Essential Software Programs by Mark O’Neill

10 Quick Fixes to Make your Windows Computer Faster by Shankar Ganesh

Best Programs To Keep Your Computer Secure by Will Mueller

Needless to say, you should ALWAYS keep virus and malware protection updated, and it’s recommendable to repeat steps 1 through 5 on a more regular basis than just once a year.

What’s your routine? Do you have a more radical attitude and actually enjoy a fresh installation once a year? Please give us your feedback.

(By) This post was written by one of our regular authors, Tina from Recommended.
More from MakeUseOf.com :

- MakeUseOf Directory : Read about up-to 5 truly useful web apps on a daily basis.
- MakeUseOf ‘Geeky Fun’: - Fun Geeky Pics, Cartoons and Videos.

Tags: compress, disk defragmenter, How-To, speedup, windows tips

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Cool_Software_Apps  Lists_of_tools  Windows  compress  disk_defragmenter  How-To  speedup  windows_tips  from:googlereader  googlereader  home  from google
june 2008 by L33Fly

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